Young Henrys Newtowner

Total Score: 6.55/10 Biscuit1Flowers1Caramel1Nonicpint1

Young Henrys (no apostrophe in the name as it turns out, not going to bother fixing my previous reviews even though the grammar-Nazi in me is fighting to correct those mistakes) are a decent bunch of New South Welshmen who brew a decent beer or too, and make no mistake Newtowner will be good too. Will it wow my socks off? For a 4.8% ABV Australian Pale Ale – probably not, but sometimes we need a quiet almost-session ale to make the day seem a little more awesome than it already is, so let’s give it a chance haters.

Poured from a 375ml can into a nonic pint.

A: Hazed light amber body with a white sea foam 2 centimetre head on top, it looks pretty standard for a TOAPA (The Other APA), OK lacing on the side of the glass, again standard stuff. The head drops back to a thin foam blanket. 6/10.

S: Biscuit and toffee malts upfront followed by some floral hop notes – this is going to be a balanced Pale Ale in the classic English vein methinks. Tiny hints of citrus and papaya come out as well, but overall it’s a middling aroma that I can take or leave. 6/10.

T: Flavour is an improvement but still for a TOAPA it’s lacking some bite. It is quite refreshing though… flavours as expected (biscuit/toffee malts, floral/citric hops). Finishes with some rather light by American and medium by Australian standards hop bitterness and a kiss of lemon in the aftertaste. This would be an excellent hot summers day beer actually. 7/10.

M: Mid to light bodied with a light, sharp carbonation – this mouthfeel works with this type of “summer” beer. 7/10.

D: So obviously for me their Hop Ale is the pick of the Young Henrys litter, though Newtowner works well, and I’m sure that people fresher to the craft scene than me would like it, it doesn’t do a great deal for me. Of course my palate is accustomed to being smashed in the taste buds by Double India Pale Ales on a weekly basis in every season so I’m not exactly a great judge of lighter styles anymore. Still I can recognise a good beer when I taste one and Newtowner is a good beer (that is quite comparable to their Real Ale in scale and flavour for better or worse). 6/10.

Food match: Had a simply grilled burger at Grilled earlier and this would have gone down a treat with that.


XXXX Gold Australian Pale Ale

Total Score: 3.75/10 Lemon1Barley1Corn1Nonicpint1

Dear God what have XXXX *ahem*Kirin*cough* wrought?! This time it’s an Australian Pale Ale (or as I like to abbreviate it: TOAPA “The Other APA”). Australian Pale Ale is fast becoming synonymous for piss-weak Pale Ale imitators, and this mid-strength from XXXX is unlikely to break the trend, but hey that’s why I review these beers – so you don’t have to waste your hard earned crust on them, you can thank me later [don’t worry I didn’t pay for this stubbie either – my Dad drinks this ****].

Poured from a 375ml bottle into a nonic pint.

A: Clear straw yellow body with a white cappuccino foam half centimetre head. Looks alright but the colour is more in the vicinity of a Lager, in fact I have little doubt in my mind that this is actually brewed as a Lager with some hops added. 5/10.

S: Citrus forward with a strained chemical lemon note, maybe this won’t be so bad after all? Who am I kidding this is going to be a grainy struggle of a brew. Apart from the overly faux lemon note it smells like a glass of soda water (not unlike original XXXX Gold) I have enough trouble picking up aromas in beers without these piss-weak mid-strength brews knocking about. 4/10.

T: Yep, it’s a grainy/chemical lemon mash job. Tastes a bit like cleaning product or a very cheap Radler – the world has enough of those btw. Finish is crisp as advertised on the bottle, but little else is right with this fake and offensive drop. In fact I would take a regular XXXX Gold over this any day of the week – at least then I’m just contending with crappy Aussie grain adjuncts, nope XXXX you can keep your lemon flavouring, I’ll have a real Pale Ale instead. 4/10.

M: Watery/light bodied with some violent carbonation – it was a burp a every 10 seconds drinking this – the fizz is dense and sharp too, didn’t go well with that chemical lemon note. 3/10.

D: So to sum up its XXXX Gold with some shitty lemon additive, thanks Kirin! [insert rant about Australian Pale Ales giving Australia a bad reputation!] Or I guess I could just type up my rant now? But I really do grow tired of the crap Macro brewers brewing crap Lagers (or Lagers masquerading as Ales) so really what is the point: They will keep brewing them and I will keep ranting about them, the circle of life continues… time to go drain pour this abomination. 3/10.

Food match: The sink.


Prickly Moses Drill Sergeant Pale Ale

Total Score: 7.4/10 Passionfruit1 Honeycomb1 Earth1 Nonicpint1

Happy New Beer, it’s 2015!!! (no, my love of bad puns has not lessoned with the passage of time, apologies people). Anyway the first beer of the year is actually another I reviewed earlier (I promise next review will be a fresh one piping hot from the oven) with: Prickly Moses Drill Sergeant (all Australian) Pale Ale, brewed in collaboration with 33 Degrees Bar in Manly. It is brewed with all Aussie malt, hops, yeast and rain water… sounds good, I hope that rain water was filtered :P.

Poured from a tap into a Schooner.

A: Cloudy pale orange body with a cream half centimetre head… who said an all Australian Pale Ale couldn’t look good? Me, but I digress, and was mistaken. Tasty times ahead! 7/10.

S: Prominent passionfruit (no doubt Galaxy hops – which I’m coincidentally brewing along with Mosaic hops in my best of Aussie/US hops Pale Ale homebrew tomorrow) with some nice, but hop-muted caramel malt, hints of pineapple, and grapefruit. 7/10.

T: Nice! Big passionfruit and grapefruit all over with some honey sweetness from the malt and finishes with a reasonably mild earthy hop bitterness. Pretty decent finish for hop flavours this big. The strength of this brew, both flavour and ABV (4.8%) is bang on sessionable for me, and it goes down with enough complexity to keep my taste buds somewhat sated – though it’s never going to beat a good *ACRONYM ALERT* IPA IMHO. 7/10.

M: Mid to light bodied with that excellent creamy on tap carbonation. On tap brews are boss. 9/10.

D: Nice another really really decent brew from Prickly Moses. I haven’t had a crap beer from them since the Red Ale, but then again I have been trying all their intriguing new limited release brews of late, and I do have a penchant for anything outside-the-box in my beers. Also I would like to add that I dig that earthy hop note that always finds its way into their brews – not sure if that was from the Galaxy hops, but I may find out when my batch of Pale Ale is done. Cheers to Prickly, you clever Echidnas you! 8/10. Total: 7.4/10.

Food match: As long as you’re drinking an all Aussie beer why not have an all Aussie meal? And you can’t get more Aussie than a meal we call “the coat of arms” – which is chargrilled Kangaroo and Emu steaks with a side of sautéed vegetables. 10 points if you can guess which animals are on the Australian coat of arms.